I've been biking to work most of the summer. A bicycle...the kind you pedal. I could even say that I go uphill both ways because a river cuts through the middle of Columbus and creates a valley that forces me to endure a pretty strenuous climb each way. It's not the Pyrenees , but it does make for a good workout. The reasons are many: high gas prices, exercise, vehicular homicide....You know, the usual. I actually enjoy it because I've always enjoyed riding a bike. I think it's because the seat hits my prostate in just the right spot.
My commute is actually respectable at 11 miles one way. That's a total of 22 miles over the course of the day and that's more than most people bike in a month. So I carry the smug satisfaction of being better than all of them. It's pretty rewarding in that regard. I also bike just for the fun of it on the weekends. So yes, my ass does feature a bald patch in the shape of my saddle.
Now don't get the wrong impression. I'm not Lance Armstrong. In fact, I look like I might have eaten Lance Armstrong. I'm a big guy which is a nice way of saying I'm fat. Are there fatter people? Sure, but I still could stand to lose more weight than I'd like to admit because I'm just enough of a girl to be bashful about it.
So there I am pedaling to work and people are thinking, Jesus Christ that poor bike. Or, where's he heading, Krispy Kreme? I smile as they drive by, staring, wondering how that bike hasn't somehow slipped right up my big fat ass. It's some sort of miracle.
When people ask me about my commute disbelief seems to wash over their faces. I get the fish eye. 11 miles? No way. They offer faint patronizing praise that is usually reserved for Special Olympians. I know they don't believe me and that's OK because I'm not doing it for them.
It just drives home the point that losing weight is hard. Not technically speaking, of course, but knowing you have to eat less and exercise more and consistently following through with it are two very different things.
I'm not one of these chunks who wants sympathy. I'm responsible for myself and it's a work in progress. Biking is a small part of it and if I'm being honest the fact that I can maintain a relatively high level of physical activity makes me happy. I'm not one of those people who needs to rest for 10 minutes after squeezing his big fat ass into his car. So that's something, and for now it'll do. For now.